Thursday, February 28, 2008

Pay Pal Shops

Interesting post from Entrepreneurs-Journey blog about how you can find hot products over at Pay Pal Shops. Take a look and see if they will help you.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Are you a state at home mom?

NBC's Today Show had a feature on work for stay at home moms (SAHM's).

While focusing on SHAM's, they have some good information for men or woman including selling on Ebay and becoming a professional shopper. Thank you to BIZ Chicks Rule for referring to this video.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Develop your business plan Part 3

Here is part 3 of the video series on doing your business plan. It follows nicely with my weekly post on how to do your business plan. Once I am done wrapping up the series on how to write a business plan, I will start going through an actually business plan step to give more practical experience for you.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Starting A Small Business Series-Financial Request

Now some of you may not need this section of the business plan as this section is the funding request section.

So how much are you requesting to fund your business? Not only will you want to show how much you will require today, but if you are going to need more money in the next five years to expand your business you will want to make sure that is included in this section of the business plan.

While your financial statements will show about where your money is going in this section you want to specifically mention how and where you will use the money from your investors. You will want to be specific on where the money will be going whether it will be capital, operations, or other things.

Finally you will want to discuss your future financial situation. If you plan to go public with your business in the next five to ten years you will want to include that information in this section. Another piece of information is that if you plan to sell your business at anytime in the future.

Next week we will go over the financial information.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Are you a freelance?

One of the things we stress is how important networking is to small businesses. We need to be networking gain customers and get valuable business contacts.

The Bootstrapper Blog has a listing of 50 Professional Networks for Freelancers. While tailored to freelancers there is valuable information here for any small business owner. Take a look and see what contacts you can use to improve your small business.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Develop your business plan Part 2

Here is part two of the video "Developing your business plan". Great information for those getting ready to start writing their business plan.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Starting A Small Business Series: The Service or Product Line

The next section of the Business Plan is the product information.

You will want to detail what your product is from a customer perspective. How will the product meet the needs of the customer and why they are going to want it? Also how is your product or service going to be superior to that offered by your competitors?

Next you will want to talk about the life cycle of the product or service. Is your product or service on a growth curve or is it a mature market. If your product or service is going to be in a mature market, how will you turn that into an opportunity for you? How long is the life cycle of the business?

Next discuss any copyright or trademarks your product or service will have. Also are there any trade secrets included with your product or service and any current legal agreements.

Finally you will want to explain any research and development that will involve your product or service. Is your product still under development? How much research and development will have to be done to keep your product ahead of your competitors and how much will it cost the business?

Next week we will discuss the funding request.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Building a Business Plan Video

Since I have been going over a business plan, I found this series of videos that talk about the developing a business plan.

This is part 1 of 8.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Starting A Small Business Series: The Marketing and Sales Plan

In this part of our developing your business plan series, we will go over the Marketing and Sales Management part of the business plan.

Here you tell your potential investors and yourself how you are going to develop the market for your business.

How do you plan to penetrate the market? How do you plan to expand your business through marketing? Do you plan to add locations, franchise, have distributors or any other ways you will look to expand your business. Also, if you are manufacturing a product how will you get it to market? Will you sell direct, to wholesalers, or some other way?

In the final part of the marketing strategy you will want to go into detail on how you plan to reach the market. Will you have an advertising budget that will allow for television or will you look to some other means such as newspapers and magazines. What kind of online presence do you plan to have? Will you have a basic website or a full blown e-commerce site? What other kinds of marketing do you plan to do such as catalogs, brochures, trade shows, or other kinds of promotions?

Next you will focus on sales. Will you have a internal sales force that people come in to visit or external that they go out and visit or both? Will the sales force be direct employees of the company or will they be contractors and the reasons you decided to make that decision. You will also want details on how you plan to recruit your sales people, train them, and compensate them. Explain all details and how you came to those decisions.

From there you will need a detail plan of how the sales force will sell your business. What their requirements are going to be and how they will get customers. Will they cold call on a list you buy or will they be knocking on doors.

Next week we will get into the product line part of the business plan.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Business Opportunities...

Looking to have a business from home?

The Home Biz Notes Blog has a listing of 13 on line businesses that you can start and operate from home.

While this is in no way a complete list they will give you some good ideas on what you can pursue yourself. Just make sure whatever you decide to do, you find something that you are going to enjoy.

There is many opportunities to make money out there, what is going to be yours?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Andrew Morrison...

Here is a video from Andrew Morrison from the Small Business Camp that gives some helpful information on building your business.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Bad or Good Times?

The New York Times has an article about some of the things that Small Businesses are facing during these economic times.

While the NY Times paints a somewhat down picture (isn’t this what newspapers do?), the truth is this is a great opportunities for small business owners. At the first sign of troubles corporations start letting people go even if it causes them long term harm because they are only look at this quarters financial numbers.

This is the perfect opportunity for small businesses to show that they provide the best customer service and they will not slack during the off times.

Your suppliers will be looking to move inventory and that is good you. It’s time to get better terms from your suppliers as they are going to have access inventory and that is an opportunity for you to get better merchandise for the dollar.

Don’t listen to everyone who cries doom and gloom. Look at these times as an opportunity to grow and improve your business, it is an opportunity waiting for you.

Monday, February 04, 2008

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Starting A Small Business Series-Organization and Mangement

The next section of the business plan is the Organization and Management.

In this section of the business plan you go into details about how your business is going to operation.

You will also want to detail all the departments your business will have. If it is just you or one other person this is not critical but if there will be multiple people running the business you will want to detail what the departments and power will they have, and how will the fit into the operation of the business.

At this point you will also want to detail the salary and benefits that people will be receiving and justifying those costs.

Have a detailed organization structure for the business. Usually you will have the CEO on top with the flow down through the different departments. You will also want a narrative description of each section, and how information will flow so that things don’t have to go through multiple layers to get things done.

Once again you will want to detail what organization form you’re going to take: sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation. You will want to name all the owners, their percentage of ownership, involvement in the business, and if a corporation what will the distribution of the stock be.

Next if there is going to be management beyond the owners you will want to detail the information from them. You will want to include their name and a good resume but that includes more detailed information. This information needs to justify what this person will be working for the business and not there just because they are a friend. If the company has been in operation for some time you will want to include years of service with the business.

Finally if you are going to have a board of directors you will want to follow all the above details with explanations on why they were chosen for the position and what they bring special to the company.

Once again you can go to the Small Business Administration Website for more information.

Friday, February 01, 2008

HR information

The Bootstrapper Blog which is a great resource for information I have discovered has a listing of 100 articles to help with HR. Even if you only need to hire one person this information can come in hand since there is so many issues that need to be dealt with.

Give a look to some of their links and remember to tell them that the Business Connect Blog referred you.